As a step forward in our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy, Republic introduced its first Business Resource Group (BRG), rPride, last month with the guidance of the Republic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) team. Republic’s rPride BRG is a community of LGBTQ+ Associates and allies who seek to support inclusion through education, mentoring and advocacy. This BRG, as well as future BRGs, are part of the DEI strategy that includes key initiatives aimed at supporting an inclusive culture and work environment at Republic.
The idea for the group came from base visits to each of Republic’s 11 Crew and Maintenance bases and listening to feedback from Crew and Associates. It became clear to Anthony Imperatrice, then Inflight Communications Supervisor and current IT Project Manager, that there was an opportunity to further engage Associates and Crew around a topic and community that was meaningful to them. The formation of the rPride BRG took planning, hard work and support from Associates across the Company. Anthony, the BRG’s Chair, worked for months, at first with the DEI team, then a larger group of Associates interested in being a part of the creation of rPride, to meet and provide the required information and documentation. Part of their efforts included choosing an Executive Sponsor, selecting a name and logo, writing a mission statement and establishing the business case.
“This group is a natural continuation of living out Company values: encouraging a culture of action, becoming stronger from our diversity, seeking fulfillment from our work and respecting and caring for each other. Specifically looking at seeking fulfillment from our work, now more than ever, people are seeking a sense of purpose, both in their personal lives, and in their employer. I truly believe as people begin engaging with BRGs, we’re going to see the Company values personified even further while helping drive outcomes for recruiting, engagement and retention, which is the purpose of BRGs at Republic,” Anthony said of the creation of rPride.
Republic is leading the way in DEI among regional airlines, all while raising money for NGPA. The first fundraiser for rPride was for branded apparel, a t-shirt as well as a pin that Crew can wear on their uniform during the month of June. Choosing NGPA to raise money for was an easy choice, taking Republic’s long-standing relationship and partnership with them to the next level to support all they do to open new opportunities to the worldwide LGBTQ+ aviation community and its allies.
rPride Ombudsperson and Republic Leave of Absence Specialist Abby Kinworthy was excited to become part of the group’s leadership as soon as she got involved with its creation. “I am excited to be a part of rPride and to support our LBGTQ+ Associates. This group will give our Associates another avenue of support within our RJet community.”
Looking ahead, Anthony and Abby have many goals for rPride. “Within this employee-led group, we’ve started off with some great Pride month events, but the work doesn’t stop at the end of June. We’re going to continue our mission to elevate inclusion through education, mentoring and advocacy all year long while strategizing various ways we can contribute to business initiatives. How we do that is entirely up to our people,” Anthony said. Abby added, “We plan to hold fundraisers for various groups that support the LGBTQ+ community and do as much good as we can!”